The St. Johns County Public Library System is partnering with the Early Learning Coalition of Putnam and St. Johns Counties, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, St. Johns County Education Foundation and other community organizations to bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to St. Johns County.
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) allows for children, born after May 1, 2008, to receive a FREE age-appropriate book every month until their fifth birthday at no charge to the parent.
Here is how it works. At any branch of the St. Johns County Public Library System, parents may sign up their children who were born after May 1, 2008, in St. Johns or Putnam counties to receive free hardcover books in the mail.
The child will receive an age-appropriate book each month until they are five years old. If a parent signs up a newborn for the program, they will receive a 60-volume library by age five. The only eligibility requirements are that the child must be born after May 1, 2008, and must reside in St. Johns or Putnam counties.
Library Director Debra Rhodes Gibson is very excited about the program. â€œThe Library System is happy to be part of the Dolly Party Imagination Library, as it is a wonderful program that promotes early literacy and lifelong learning,â€ she said. â€œOur hope is for every child to have access to books, and certainly the Dolly Parton Imagination Library helps make that possible.â€
The program was developed by Dolly Parton in 1995 for her native Sevier County, Tennessee. Parton wanted to foster a love of reading among her countyâ€™s preschool children and their families, and she wanted children to be excited about books and the magic they can create. Moreover, she could ensure that every child would have books, regardless of their familyâ€™s income. Parton has since decided to offer her Imagination Library for replication in any community that would financially support it.
In Putnam and St. Johns Counties, the DPIL program is a true partnership, with several groups working together to make it possible. The Early Learning Coalition and program donors pay for the books and mailing, while the Chamber of Commerce helps with the promotion. The St. Johns County Education Foundation accepts all donations to the program, and the St. Johns County Public Library promotes the program and registers and maintains the database of donors and children. From there The Dollywood Foundation takes over and manages the system to deliver the books to the home.
Once enrolled, each child will receive classic titles each month such as The Little Engine That Could, Owl Moon, Goodnight Gorilla and more. Each child will continue to receive one free hardcover book each month until he or she reaches the age of five.
For more information about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library or to register your child, visit any branch of the St. Johns County Public Library System.